Ecuador Horseback Riding Adventure
This nine-day Ker & Downey Ecuador horseback riding adventure leads you through the breathtaking shadows of the Andean Mountains to uncover the unique artisans, farmers, landscape, and hospitality indigenous to Ecuador’s spectacular highlands.
- Day 1: Arrive Quito / Casa Gangotena
- Day 2: Horseback Riding Day / Otavalo / Hacienda Zuleta
- Day 3: Horseback Riding Day / Otavalo / Hacienda Zuleta
- Day 4: Horseback Riding Day / Otavalo / Hacienda Zuleta
- Day 5: Horseback Riding Day / Otavalo / Hacienda Zuleta
- Day 6: Horseback Riding Day / Otavalo / Hacienda Zuleta
- Day 7: Quito / Casa Gangotena
- Day 8: Quito / Casa Gangotena
- Day 9: Quito / Departure
- Itinerary Description:
Begin in Ecuador's capital and second largest city, Quito, where the intimate and luxurious boutique amenities of Casa Gangotena provide endless comfort as you acclimate to the area's higher elevation. Your Ecuador horseback riding adventure through the Ecuadorian Andes commences in Otavalo and the eclectic Hacienda Zuleta, a 17th century hacienda and working farm that serves as a spectacular base from which to explore the wonders of the region. The next five days are dedicated to uncovering Ecuador's culture in the highlands from the back of a robust, noble, and smooth Andean Zuleteño horse, a unique mixture of Spanish–Andalusian, English, and Quarter horses with a perfect disposition for trail riding and any skill level.
Every day’s ride has a particular beauty and charm. Traverse through valleys surrounded by mountain lakes and snow-capped peaks, ancient pre-Incan structures, and dramatic views of waterfalls above the clouds. You will have the opportunity to meet a local saddle maker and travel to Zuleta village, where women wear their traditional clothing and local people work their land, waving to you as you ride by. Each ride is accompanied by sumptuous three-course picnic lunches in the countryside. Hacienda Zuleta is a 5,200 acre working estate with 3,000 sheep, 600 dairy cows, and 120 horses. Feel free to join in the numerous daily activities around the farm. Foals are born every month in the breeding barn, and horsemen will appreciate the help in training the young colts and fillies or refining canter aids in the ring. Go visit the different herds in the fields, or encourage the playful foals to canter alongside you. While not riding, you are welcome to tour the grounds to watch the daily activity of milking, seasonal sheep shearing, or to sample one of the 11 varieties of cheese made in the cheese factory. Explore on horse-drawn carriage rides and mountain biking trips into the mountains, or hike through the pastures and forests of the undulating valley.
Say farewell to your horse and guide and return to Quito for your remaining days in Ecuador. Enjoy a culinary unveiling of historic and modern Ecuador via the unassuming South American staple of the potato, as well as a guided exploration of Quito -- a walking chronological narrative of the city's history -- before departing for your journey onward.